Though he wasn't drafted, Sun Devil linebacker Brandon Magee will still have a chance to make an impact at the professional level with the Dallas Cowboys this fall. The Cowboys signed Magee almost immediately after the draft and rewarded the former Arizona State captain with a $70,000 signing bonus. Magee's contract reflects the Cowboys' confidence in him as that total is more than any 7th round draft pick received in 2012.
College Career: There's no denying that Brandon Magee was the heart and soul of the Arizona State defense.
For the first two seasons of Magee's career, he made his presence felt as a valuable backup and a special teams asset who could step in and make plays when called upon.
In 2010, Magee took his game to the next level and started alongside Vontaze Burfict at the linebacker position. That season, Magee finished second on the team with 73 tackles and also recorded five tackles for loss.
Unfortunately, Magee lost the 2011 season to an Achilles injury, but he came back stronger than ever.
In the first game of 2012, Magee set the tone for the season by returning an interception for a touchdown against Northern Arizona. He continued his stellar performances up through the Territorial Cup game when he recorded an astounding 17 tackles to help lead Arizona State to victory.
Magee's 113 tackles led the team last season, but his leadership, energy, and passion for the game of football helped set him apart and make him one of the driving forces behind the successful transition to the Todd Graham era.
Skill Set: Though undersized, Magee makes up for his 5-foot-11 frame by putting every ounce of his body into tackles. Magee's tenacity makes him a force in the run game, and his lateral speed is a definite plus at the weakside linebacker position.
Though Magee's 4.74 40-yard dash time didn't set any world records, he does have a knack for staying with receivers in passing routes and his zone coverage skills are a major bonus.
Magee's communication skills and high football IQ make success likely, and the Cowboys know they're getting a great leader.
Though it wasn't highlighted heading into the draft, Magee's internal drive and hunger help set him apart. After having been passed up on draft day, Magee wants to prove he has what it takes to be a force at the next level.
Why He Fits: The $70,000 signing bonus Magee received supports the notion that he should have been drafted.
Magee has all the skills necessary to succeed at the next level; it's just a matter of honing those skills. Cowboys' defensive coordinator Monte Kiffin is a widely respected defensive coach, and he can help Magee learn how to get the most out of his size.
Last season, Dallas allowed more than 125 yards per game on the ground and chances are, teams will try to run the football until the Cowboys prove they can stop them. With that being said, Magee plugs a major hole as a reserve linebacker who can add another body to the special teams units.